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Old 09-12-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
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More fuel tank woes

Well we definitely aren't on top of the fuel tank issues.

We are due at the NEU Rally in Plymouth this weekend but DW couldn't finish work until late last night so the plan was to catch up this morning.

I knew we only had about 4 gallons of gas on board from running out the other week. So first stop after loading up was the local gas station. This time it was filling remarkably easily until it cut off at around 24 gallons, still way under what should be the capacity.

At that point I notice gas running out of the bodywork surrounding the gas tank, and the leak got worse and worse - there is obviously an issue with the tank itself.

I managed to get the panel off whilst DW ran in an informed the gas station of the issue. The gas is pouring from the top of the leading edge. I quickly loosen the drain plug and try and let enough out to drop below the leak, luckily I had a couple of bowls and DW walked back and grabbed the 5 gallon can but I ended up having to remove about 2.5 gallons to stop the leak. It appears that as soon as I was below the leak it stopped fine so there must be a bad weld or pinhole somewhere about half way up.

Drove back home now trying to get a little cleaned up before making attempt number 2 to get to the rally.....
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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Well that was short lived......

No more leaking fuel but about five miles into the journey, a car pulls out in front of us, I jump on the brakes (we were doing about 55mph), we stop, but the break warning light comes on and is stuck on, so we must have popped a seal somewhere. Brakes seem to be working fine, but we played safe and drove home. Oh joy!
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Old 09-12-2015, 01:37 PM   #3
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Or your brake proportioning valve...

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Old 09-12-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
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You maybe right Dean, certainly can't see any obvious leaks.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:11 PM   #5
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Anyone know where the proportioning valve is on an Argosy? Is it built into the MC, as it appears one circuit?
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:52 AM   #6
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Follow the hard brake lines to the valve.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:14 AM   #7
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Follow the hard brake lines to the valve.
Thanks, I have tried that. They all seem to come together under the MC, at the moment I can't see there is a separate valve of the valve is mounted to/under the MC. It will have to wait until the weekend now as I am heading to the airport straight from work. Working in Graz, Austria for the rest of the week.

Also it looks like either the lock ring around the sender is loose or the return fuel line is not attached to the send on the tank. So hopefully that is easier to fix than first thought. Fingers crossed anyway!
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:38 PM   #8
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Perseverance Martin

You're going through the same year I'm going through, a debugging year. Between broken fan belts, throttle cables, compressors and water check valves it adds up to more down time than I wanted for this year.

Look on the bright side, you weren't far from home.

Cheers
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:59 AM   #9
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Look on the bright side, you weren't far from home.

Cheers
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For sure, and as I said to DW I had already said I wasn't happy with the brakes - just means it turned from an adjustment to a probable replacement!
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:03 AM   #10
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Long ago I was able to free up a PV switch by bleeding the front brakes. Have an assistant pump hard ( not rapidly but with some force) while the bleeder screw is fully open. As your assistant continues to pump, close the bleeder screw as they push slowly on the pedal. Start with the passenger side wheel, then the driver. I use a small section of rubber tubing into a glass container to catch the fluid and prevent a backflow of air into the caliper/wheel cylinder. Hope it's an easy fix.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:36 AM   #11
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Amazing.....after much phoning, emailing, and DW visiting and ask personally, and every 'frigging' truck and auto shop refusing to even look at the brakes on Bella. I have a day off, so go back to square one and 'door-step' the transmission shop which is across the road from our house. The guy says, 'oh yeah I remember your wife coming in....didn't I get back to you? yes of course we can do it'.

Arggghhhhh! I think someone needs to study the impact on life expectancy from the frustration of owning one of these 'old dears'.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:05 PM   #12
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Arggghhhhh! I think someone needs to study the impact on life expectancy from the frustration of owning one of these 'old dears'.
Glad you've found a place to fix it.

What I'm wondering is what's it going to be like trying to find service shops once you take Bella across the pond
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:30 PM   #13
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Arggghhhhh! I think someone needs to study the impact on life expectancy from the frustration of owning one of these 'old dears'.
The very same impact as a pre-facelifted Jaguar XJS V12, Triumph Stag TR7-8, all TVR's and Austins, pre 2000 Rollers and all Rovers, Range or otherwise...... I seem to be detecting a common thread here.

Keep a stiff upper lip Martin.
Cheers
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:50 PM   #14
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..........

Arggghhhhh! I think someone needs to study the impact on life expectancy from the frustration of owning one of these 'old dears'.

Hmmm, note the "do more"
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:35 PM   #15
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Glad you've found a place to fix it.

What I'm wondering is what's it going to be like trying to find service shops once you take Bella across the pond
finding a place is the first step.
My friend Marcus, who drives a 345 in Germany send me a panic message that his brake pedal was going to the floor. When he checked the master Cylinder, both reservoirs were empty and caked with jelly like crud.
Just prior to him picking it up in Ohio to ship to Germany the previous owner (who is a nice guy and just a victim in this case) spent 1200.- to have the Brake system checked and serviced.
When Marcus got the 345 to Germany, he had to pass the very strict German inspection system, which cost him thousands of Euro to achieve. Supposedly the brake system was 100% gone thru and inspected (yet again)
The fact is that no one ever even opened the Brake reservoir to check the fluid, neither in the US nor in Germany. It takes prob 20 years for brake fluid to turn to jelly like that.
So my point is: finding a place is just the first step.
Owners of these old rigs should familiarize themselves with the location and the checking of the Master Brake fluid, because no one else may do it for them.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:22 AM   #16
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Agreed Peter. It probably didn't help that Airstream turned the master around to face the other way making it bloody hard to check or refill. My shop had to resort to filling little tiny Dixie cups to fill the new master cylinder.

As for finding someone to work on Bella across the pond......it's going to take some investigating but I would approach a coach lines company if I were Martin, as they would have all the big lifts and try and work out a deal with the boss and a good mechanic for the time.

If Martin is in Worthing Sussex he could try my Grandfathers old coach company, King of the Road. I remember as a child going into the garage, the smell was amazing and most of the mechanics were WWII fitters, Lancaster and Spitfire mechanics. There are times I really wish my parents had stayed in England.

Cheers
Tony

PS If Carroll Shelby wants to sue me for using naming my coach "King of the Road", he's in for a wee bit of a fight.

The driver in the first pic is my Great Grandfather, who started the company. My Grandfather bought him out in the 50's.

Last pic is my Great Grandfather in the white jacket and my Grandfather in the suspenders getting ready for an outing circa 1947. Both men were some of the rare civilians allowed into the D-Day preparation areas pre D-Day, as they ferried troops in and about South Western England.
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:51 AM   #17
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Cool pics, Tony
Too bad they screwed up on the bus when they put the tag axle in the front
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:06 AM   #18
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Cool pics, Tony
Too bad they screwed up on the bus when they put the tag axle in the front
They didn't! Tag is in the right place as it was an experimental coach with the passengers facing to the rear. Grandad was at the back driving so he could look at the paying passengers as he was describing what was coming up. The passengers would then have lots of time to look at what just passed them by without having to crane they're necks around; you know us old timers don't like to turn our heads much.

Cheers
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:11 AM   #19
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It's a small world, I was born in Hastings, Sussex less than 50miles from Worthing.

The crazy thing is 'motorhomes' (not RVs) are so popular in Europe (and the UK in particular), that although parts will be non-existant, there are many many 'garages' willing and able to work on them....there is even a motorhome fleet center less than 4 miles from my house in the UK (Motorhome Servicing for all Makes in Kent).

That said, part of my frustration is I'm actually pretty capable of doing any repairs myself, but work crazy hours (I guess many people do, so not claiming to be unique) so want to spend what time I have away from work using Bella not working on it (he says sitting here speckled with POR-15 chassis paint from spending yesterday afternoon painting the rear chassis extensions, in prepare for installing the 'new to me' rear bumper later today), so when I give up work I actually expect do most repairs.

I guess you could question why I spent time yesterday painting rather than trying to fix the brakes; well, I checked all the obvious stuff (leaks, levels, etc) so next step will be to start dismantling; if I start doing that it could be three months before it comes off the ramps!
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:20 AM   #20
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Martin, if you take the 20' to Europe, you may benefit from knowing Marcus in Germany, since he has gone through sourcing many parts and shops.
Marcus just send me the pictures of his MC again. Remember this is after 2 "reputable" shops got paid good money to make sure the brake system was up to par.
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